Source: Ivan Marjanovic/Shutterstock.com

“No Sh*t” Says Ecologist As Pesticides Cause 500M Bee Deaths

by | August 23, 2019

Brazil has seen half a billion bee deaths over three months after relaxing its pesticide regulation.

According to The Guardian, 193 products containing chemicals banned in the EU have been registered in Brazil in the last three years — breeding results which Penn State applied insect ecologist John Tooker says were to be expected.

“These [pesticides] are meant to kill insects,” he said.

“The realization that bees are insects, and that insecticides kill bees, is mind-boggling to entomologists. I mean, no sh*t.”

Harmful pesticide use poses a threat not only to bees, but the biosphere they’re a part of and, given the crucial role they play in pollination and plant growth, to food supplies humans rely on.

Bees
Bees play a crucial role in our ecosystem (Source: Viesinsh/Shutterstock.com)

Bee Protection & Government Intervention

While changes in Brazilian policy have been harmful to bees, a number of governments are making moves to protect them.

In February of this year, Germany voted into law new protections for bees.

The law commits the government to protect and preserve the environment by doing a number of things, such as increasing the number of natural meadows, actively preventing further losses of biodiversity, limiting pesticides, supporting organic farming, and ensuring clean water.

This law was created as a result of a petition spearheaded by an alliance of the Ecological Democratic, Green, and Social Democratic parties, along with research organizations, organic food companies and distributors, nature conservation groups, and bee producers. It was signed by 1.8 million people, or nearly 20 percent of eligible voters.

In Canada, a three-year plan was announced last year to start phasing out the use of nicotine-based pesticides. It will begin in 2021. This was part of an effort to stop the decline of honey bee colonies around the world as scientists blame the chemicals for weakening bee populations, and making them more susceptible to weather and disease.

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